Friday, September 02, 2005

I Grew My Dinner! 

Vegetables from my garden made an unprecedentedly large contribution to my dinner tonight. Let me tell you about it.

Dinner is in four parts. Part I is rice, adapted from my father's mujadara recipe, part II is a curried sweet potato dish, and part III is a salad, with (part IV) my father's dressing (can you tell who taught me to cook?). Below are the recipes, and the bolded ingredients came from my garden:

Chop one onion into medium chunks.
Sauté it in a saucepan big enough to cook rice in until the pieces are turning transparent.
Add 1 cup uncooked rice (I use long grain brown) and continue to sauté for about five minutes.
Add 2 cups water and treat like normal rice (cover, boil, then turn the heat way down and simmer until the water's all gone)

This is where I stopped, but to make it proper mujadara you have to do the last step

Mix in one can (or one can's worth, if you boil them yourself) green lentils, drained and rinsed.

On top of the rice I put

Curried Sweet Potatoes
Peel and cube 3 sweet potatoes and put then up to boil in a sauce pan while you go to pick things from your garden.

In a small bowl combine 1/2 - 1 tsp each of cumin and turmeric and 1/4 tsp either nutmeg or allspice (I'm not sure which I used because I have them both, in unlabelled bags, and I can never tell which is which). Add a minced hot pepper of unknown variety that grows on a plant with purple leaves and is purple until it matures, at which point it's red, seeds included, and about 1 tbsp of olive oil to make a paste.

Heat plain olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat
Add 1 tsp yellow mustard seed and wait for it to start to pop, then add
1 onion, chopped small.
Once the onions start to turn transparent or brown, as you prefer, add your spice paste and a can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
When the chickpeas start to warm up add one chopped poblano pepper, seeds included and sauté more.

By now the sweet potatoes should be done. Drain them and mash them in a bowl with a fork.

Add about six leaves of kale, sliced pretty small, to your frying pan. When they start to reduce you want to add your mashed sweet potato and stir constantly to prevent sticking/burning until the kale is cooked to a vivid green colour.

And that's the sweet potato curry. Now all that's left is the

Five or six large spinach leaves
One regular tomato
One grape tomato that's actually much bigger than it has any right to be.
into bite-sized pieces.
Mix with tiny purple basil leaves in a bowl and add

Three parts olive oil to one part balsamic vinegar (I put about 1.5 tbsp olive oil to 1.5 tsp vinegar)
.5 tsp yellow mustard seed
.5 - 1 tsp coarse sea salt

combine in a sealable container, seal, and shake the living bujeeziz out of it.

This dressing will go on any salad you please. It's soooo yummy.

So there you have it. A simple meal in four parts, two of which contain ingredients from my garden, and one of which is made up entirely from garden ingredients.


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